How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Calm Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:09 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Rodc wrote:Her much younger brothers we'll have to wait and see. But we are planning to be in a position (and we are close to there through savings earmarked for college) to provide the same deal to them: full tuition, room and board, and books to state U. If they want to go private or out of state they will need to cover the difference, preferably though earning scholarships.

I personally think having kids have some skin in the game is a good thing in principle, especially for kids with marginal dedication to their studies. But we can easily do more harm than good if they come out of school with massive debts if we have the means to reasonably pay for college.


IF you have the money to pay for college, let them get loans anyway, let them make the first 3-6 payments after they graduate, then pay the loans off for them.

They will appreciate you a LOT more that way than if you just pay for college as they go.

Homer, I do not know if you are a parent. I, at least, and I expect like mosy parents, do not do things to get appreciated by children. Or for that matter anything many of us do for anybody or anything is not to obtain appreciation.

:)
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:13 pm

stoptothink wrote:For undergrad, especially if you are going to go onto graduate school, I agree 100%.

I believe in the trickle down theory. Reputation and who you know still count. A recommendation from a Nobel Laureate opens doors.

Go to the top high school in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 university.
Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.
Go to the top grad school in the country; you will become a professor at a top 10 university.

So here is a typical path: 1 --> 5 --> 20 --> 80.

Here is a more typical path: 50 --> 75 --> 100 --> 150.

Yes some people can swim upstream, but most of us are not salmon, and even the salmon die in the end.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 pm

sscritic wrote:
HomerJ wrote: I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.

I always like to hear from people who love their work and get as far away from it as they can as soon as they have the chance. That may not be you (if you so choose), but doesn't the juxtaposition of "love" and "leave" make you sit up and take notice?

Hmm, I wonder if I could say that about my my ex-wife?


:)

If they let me work whatever hours I wanted, I'd work forever... (at reduced pay of course - I have no problem with that)

If I could work 3 days a week, I'd probably work forever... Or maybe just 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.

If I could take 3 months off now and then, and come right back to work, I'd probably work forever.

Too bad there's not a lot of jobs that are that flexible.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:27 pm

sscritic wrote:you want your child at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia (Charlottesville), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), or University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

If you are willing to step up and pay for a private school, your choices are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and University of Chicago.


I guess that's the short list if your search doesn't go beyond buying the college issue of USN&WR. Out of the 20 top colleges by 30 year ROI, only 3 of schools you mentioned made the top 20. The omission of MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and a top niche school Harvey Mudd (#1 on ROI) was surprising. Virginia, UCLA and Michigan are well down the list on ROI.

I was particularly unimpressed with our visits to Chicago and Berkeley. The former seemed like a real sell job on a vastly overpriced and tired program. You were assigned a obnoxious salesman type for the entire visit who never left your side. His eagerness to "close the deal" was obvious. They did win the award on mailing her the most free crap (books, t-shirts, hats etc.). Berkeley distinctly smacked of arrogance in assuming accepted visiting students would attend. I had the nagging feeling of buying shares of liability in the California state govt financial crisis, with OOS students being viewed as particularly promising cash cows to milk.

The schools you mentioned I'm sure are all fine schools, but I would lump them in with a group of perhaps 40 top colleges, as opposed to implying they are some special group of 10. Rice and U of Il were real standouts on the private and public side of schools she didn't pick. Top marks to both for giving an full and very honest college tour.

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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:30 pm

Calm Man wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Rodc wrote:Her much younger brothers we'll have to wait and see. But we are planning to be in a position (and we are close to there through savings earmarked for college) to provide the same deal to them: full tuition, room and board, and books to state U. If they want to go private or out of state they will need to cover the difference, preferably though earning scholarships.

I personally think having kids have some skin in the game is a good thing in principle, especially for kids with marginal dedication to their studies. But we can easily do more harm than good if they come out of school with massive debts if we have the means to reasonably pay for college.


IF you have the money to pay for college, let them get loans anyway, let them make the first 3-6 payments after they graduate, then pay the loans off for them.

They will appreciate you a LOT more that way than if you just pay for college as they go.


Homer, I do not know if you are a parent. I, at least, and I expect like mosy parents, do not do things to get appreciated by children. Or for that matter anything many of us do for anybody or anything is not to obtain appreciation.

:)


Fine, call it perspective then. A kid who makes a few payments and sees it cut into his or her take-home pay will understand better how lucky he or she is when you pay off the loans. And that's useful wisdom for a young adult.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 pm

jon-nyc wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I don't believe schools matter much at all... My wife and I both graduated from public state schools that are not in your list of "top" public schools... We both are in the top 20% of the country in salary, and together, in the top 10% of households...

I place very little value on expensive "top-ranked" education. I got accepted to MIT, but no scholarship so couldn't afford to go... Went to a state engineering school... It's all about the person, not the school. I'm wealthier than 99% of all the people who have EVER lived on this planet, I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.


My grandfather smoked 3 packs a day of Pall Mall straights and lived to be 102. WHo says smoking is dangerous?

Ok, forgive me for being flip, but as Bogleheads we should appreciate the difference between statistics and anecdotes.

(says Jon, who went to state school and is retiring this year at 44)


Heh, you make a good point, but there are lies, damned lies, and statistics....

If you accept only the people who are ALREADY the best and smartest students in the country, can you really make a claim that going to your school is the REASON those students do well in life?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:42 pm

MnD wrote: Berkeley distinctly smacked of arrogance in assuming accepted visiting students would attend. I had the nagging feeling of buying shares of liability in the California state govt financial crisis, with OOS students being viewed as particularly promising cash cows to milk.

As I said, you have to pick the right state to live in as a starting point. We in CA love those OOS students with their cash. The Chinese have been particularly helpful in shoring up our state finances.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:43 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Calm Man wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Rodc wrote:Her much younger brothers we'll have to wait and see. But we are planning to be in a position (and we are close to there through savings earmarked for college) to provide the same deal to them: full tuition, room and board, and books to state U. If they want to go private or out of state they will need to cover the difference, preferably though earning scholarships.

I personally think having kids have some skin in the game is a good thing in principle, especially for kids with marginal dedication to their studies. But we can easily do more harm than good if they come out of school with massive debts if we have the means to reasonably pay for college.


IF you have the money to pay for college, let them get loans anyway, let them make the first 3-6 payments after they graduate, then pay the loans off for them.

They will appreciate you a LOT more that way than if you just pay for college as they go.


Homer, I do not know if you are a parent. I, at least, and I expect like mosy parents, do not do things to get appreciated by children. Or for that matter anything many of us do for anybody or anything is not to obtain appreciation.

:)


Fine, call it perspective then. A kid who makes a few payments and sees it cut into his or her take-home pay will understand better how lucky he or she is when you pay off the loans. And that's useful wisdom for a young adult.


Yes, and a kid who listed you as next of kin graduates with loans but is unable to find any job a year later. Seeing that the kid has no money, the phone rings at your house next.......... :twisted:
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:49 pm

MnD wrote: Rice and U of Il were real standouts on the private and public side of schools she didn't pick. Top marks to both for giving an full and very honest college tour.

I guess the tour is important if you think your graduate school admission will be based on the tours given to prospective freshmen. I don't. My daughter graduated from a HS in Illinois, and UofI wasn't even on her list. I mean, it's in Illinois. I guess that's better than Iowa. :)

Don't rag on me. One of my best friends is from Iowa, but then again, she came to UCLA for graduate school.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby 555 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:54 pm

sscritic wrote:
stoptothink wrote:"For undergrad, especially if you are going to go onto graduate school, I agree 100%."

"I believe in the trickle down theory. Reputation and who you know still count. A recommendation from a Nobel Laureate opens doors.

Go to the top high school in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 university.
Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.
Go to the top grad school in the country; you will become a professor at a top 10 university.

So here is a typical path: 1 --> 5 --> 20 --> 80.

Here is a more typical path: 50 --> 75 --> 100 --> 150.

Yes some people can swim upstream, but most of us are not salmon, and even the salmon die in the end."


Elite graduate programs want the best students. They know that many of them will come from "ordinary" universities. Surely you are aware of this.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby jon-nyc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:58 pm

HomerJ wrote:If you accept only the people who are ALREADY the best and smartest students in the country, can you really make a claim that going to your school is the REASON those students do well in life?


No, certainly not. But I think the school matters.

I'm in your boat, by the way - I was accepted to Cornell but went to a midwestern state school so as not to bankrupt my parents. I now have income in the top 1% and joined the two comma club at 32. I may not have done as well had I gone to Stanford or MIT, since my actual result involved some luck as well as smarts. Perhaps I wouldn't have been in the right place at the right time if I went somewhere else. Who knows.

But I do think opportunities present themselves at tier one schools more readily than at State Us. I've worked for a prestigious strategy consulting firm and an investment bank, neither of which hired at my alma mater, though they do go to the tier one private schools. A disproportionate number of the leaders of business, finance, and government really do come out of these places.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby boknows » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:02 pm

I'm much earlier in the process than a lot of posters here (31, our son is 9mo old), but we expect to offer to pay him to go to whatever college he desire, and pay up to the cost of the average state school here (for 4 years). We'll certainly encourage him to go to a state school (Virginia has a lot of great state schools) and I imagine a small battle with my wife as to whether or not we push him to go into a more "employable" major. I went to school for IT and Sys. Engineering, where she went to school for Psychology (and ended up in a career that had nothing to do with it).
32 - Married - Aiming for FI/ER in early 40s.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:02 pm

555 wrote:Elite graduate programs want the best students. They know that many of them will come from "ordinary" universities. Surely you are aware of this.

Have you done a count? I said that you can go upstream, but it is much harder than going downstream. My guess, based on some experience, that the top schools will have a larger percentage of graduate students that came from top schools than the percentage that graduates of top schools represent out of all college graduates. Fictional numbers: a top graduate school has 20% of its students from top undergraduate schools, but only 5% of all college graduates in the US graduate from top undergraduate schools. I would play the odds.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:07 pm

555 wrote:Elite graduate programs want the best students. They know that many of them will come from "ordinary" universities. Surely you are aware of this.

If where you go to school is irrelevant, why do so many people (on this board in particular) move so their kids can be in good public schools or pay thousands for private education? Somebody must think where you go matters. Or does it only matter if you are under 18?

Edit: Look at the fights in Texas over admission to UT. Is being the best in a bad school good enough?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:11 pm

sscritic wrote:I guess the tour is important if you think your graduate school admission will be based on the tours given to prospective freshmen. I don't. My daughter graduated from a HS in Illinois, and UofI wasn't even on her list. I mean, it's in Illinois. I guess that's better than Iowa. :)


And that was a factor in declining IL's offer which was very generous.
I guess she went with the best of all worlds, an ROI higher than 8 of the 10 "right" schools you listed, a great location and an extended household net cost of next to nothing.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby pennstater2005 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:18 pm

sscritic wrote:
HomerJ wrote: I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.

I always like to hear from people who love their work and get as far away from it as they can as soon as they have the chance. That may not be you (if you so choose), but doesn't the juxtaposition of "love" and "leave" make you sit up and take notice?

Hmm, I wonder if I could say that about my my ex-wife?


I love what I do but would retire early if an option or at least go part time. I'm always ready to go home at the end of the day but never feel much stress while there. It is definitely odd though.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:25 pm

jon-nyc wrote:
HomerJ wrote:If you accept only the people who are ALREADY the best and smartest students in the country, can you really make a claim that going to your school is the REASON those students do well in life?


No, certainly not. But I think the school matters.


But I do think opportunities present themselves at tier one schools more readily than at State Us. I've worked for a prestigious strategy consulting firm and an investment bank, neither of which hired at my alma mater, though they do go to the tier one private schools. A disproportionate number of the leaders of business, finance, and government really do come out of these places.


Agree with that. I went to a local city college for undergrad, while well known for having a rigorous and robust curriculum none of the major firms which were headquartered in NYC sent any of their recruiters to our campus - not one. Instead, we were invited to submit our resumes to them for consideration, but you know what happens then --> you are just one of thousands in the pile. The prestigious schools have alumni at these major firms who attend campus sponsored career fairs and also recruit on campus. Agree with SSCritic - it's far easier to swim downstream than upstream.
For graduate school, I attended a well-known private university - comparing the recruiting experience was like night and day - the opportunities for networking and employment interviews were so much better.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:50 pm

sscritic wrote:
stoptothink wrote:For undergrad, especially if you are going to go onto graduate school, I agree 100%.

I believe in the trickle down theory. Reputation and who you know still count. A recommendation from a Nobel Laureate opens doors.

Go to the top high school in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 university.
Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.
Go to the top grad school in the country; you will become a professor at a top 10 university.

So here is a typical path: 1 --> 5 --> 20 --> 80.

Here is a more typical path: 50 --> 75 --> 100 --> 150.

Yes some people can swim upstream, but most of us are not salmon, and even the salmon die in the end.


That probably applies to the top 0.1% of students, the ones who truly have what it takes to be an academic rock star.

If you are in the lower 90% of a top high school you are not likely to get into a top 10 university.

Etc.

If you truly believe you have a potential Nobel winner on your hands then by all means try to make this happen. Or even a very solid very high end performer, the sort that can be a solid PhD at one of the top 10 departments in the country.

If your kid is more average, say only a 95 percentiler for example (ie at a party of kids among the smartest, but will have some competition), this sort of argument does not apply.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:56 pm

and a top niche school Harvey Mudd (#1 on ROI) was surprising.


Just one data point.

I have a friend from grad school that went to Harvey Mudd. We got PhDs together. Never heard of it before I met him. Very smart and very well educated, and dedicated.

Now 55 and trying very hard to maintain a career that started out well, but never went anywhere. Now he just hopes to hang on long enough to retire.

One of the things these threads seem to miss is that many things come into play in success, school is not necessarily top among them. Not to downplay schooling either; but they are just one aspect.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:04 pm

Rodc wrote:That probably applies to the top 0.1% of students, the ones who truly have what it takes to be an academic rock star.

I thought that was what we were discussing. Bogleheads are in the top 0.1% of everything, including their kids. :)
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:32 pm

sscritic wrote:
Rodc wrote:That probably applies to the top 0.1% of students, the ones who truly have what it takes to be an academic rock star.

I thought that was what we were discussing. Bogleheads are in the top 0.1% of everything, including their kids. :)


And unfortunately, near as I can tell the majority of parents in my town believe this about their kids. Part of what I react to in these threads is my local environment, not just the thread.

Too many kids here are way stressed out, which happens when mom and dad believe if you don't get into Harvard, Stanford, MIT etc it is a truly life changing disaster.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Dave76 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:25 pm

sscritic wrote:Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.


Not if you don't stand out. One can make a very strong case having graduated at the top of his/her class in a flagship state school. I know an Ivy graduate who couldn't get into medical school.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Dave76 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:26 pm

Rodc wrote:
sscritic wrote:
Rodc wrote:That probably applies to the top 0.1% of students, the ones who truly have what it takes to be an academic rock star.

I thought that was what we were discussing. Bogleheads are in the top 0.1% of everything, including their kids. :)


And unfortunately, near as I can tell the majority of parents in my town believe this about their kids. Part of what I react to in these threads is my local environment, not just the thread.

Too many kids here are way stressed out, which happens when mom and dad believe if you don't get into Harvard, Stanford, MIT etc it is a truly life changing disaster.


This current generation of parents ties to attain success through their children.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:31 pm

Dave76 wrote:
sscritic wrote:Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.

Not if you don't stand out. One can make a very strong case having graduated at the top of his/her class in a flagship state school. I know an Ivy graduate who couldn't get into medical school.

It's about the odds. And what about your flagship state school is not top? Is this a problem in your state? It isn't in mine. Again, just as you have to choose your neighborhood carefully to get good neighborhood schools, you have to choose your state carefully to get good state schools. If you are in a bad state, you should move to a good state where the flagship school is one of the top universities in the country.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:41 pm

More about odds. We buy index funds even though we know that some individual stocks will do better than index funds, but we play the odds. An anecdote of one person who went to Podunk U. and became a Supreme Court Justice and another about someone else who went to Harvard and is now homeless and sleeping in the gutter do not an argument make.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:47 pm

Dave76 wrote:
sscritic wrote:Go to the top university in the country; you will get admitted to a top 10 grad school.


Not if you don't stand out. One can make a very strong case having graduated at the top of his/her class in a flagship state school. I know an Ivy graduate who couldn't get into medical school.


I was on a committee at the University of CO (not a top 10 university) which decided which grad school applicants we really wanted, who would we offer extra funding on top of the standard RA (or in place of) to come to our program.

We were not excited about the kid with a 3.5 from MIT. They were guaranteed to be pretty good and guaranteed to not set the world on fire. Sure they got in. But we knew they would not be a stand out.

But a 4.0 from a lesser but good enough school was more interesting. Sure they may not be great either, 4.0 at State U is not a 4.0 from MIT, but there was the potential to be a diamond in the rough. They got extra funding.

I can only imagine that if you want to go to grad school at Stanford, a 3.5 from MIT is not going to do the trick either. If you want to get into a top 10 grad program I suspect you need to be a standout.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:52 pm

sscritic wrote:More about odds. We buy index funds even though we know that some individual stocks will do better than index funds, but we play the odds. An anecdote of one person who went to Podunk U. and became a Supreme Court Justice and another about someone else who went to Harvard and is now homeless and sleeping in the gutter do not an argument make.


You are right about the odds. But most of us know if our kids really are in that top tier well ahead of time which is important in understanding the odds.

Then comes the question of how much are you going to pay to tilt the odds how much? That can be a tough question. Frankly if the child cannot earn a full ride or nearly full ride scholarship, it is unclear they have the talent to be in the hunt for greatness.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Dave76 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:52 pm

sscritic wrote:More about odds. We buy index funds even though we know that some individual stocks will do better than index funds, but we play the odds. An anecdote of one person who went to Podunk U. and became a Supreme Court Justice and another about someone else who went to Harvard and is now homeless and sleeping in the gutter do not an argument make.


Point taken. There are many other factors, however. There are also cases where a brand name school can be an embarrassment. A Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School can be a real embarrassment. Any theologian or clergyman knows what I'm talking about.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:53 pm

Rodc's wrote:We were not excited about the kid with a 3.5 from MIT. They were guaranteed to be pretty good and guaranteed to not set the world on fire. Sure they got in. But we knew they would not be a stand out.


I think 3.5 from MIT could be the GPA of any number of graduates who had the potential to set the world on fire. I can't see, on the basis of GPA alone, how you knew that they would not be a standout.

Edited to add: in today's world, Einstein wouldn't even have gotten into MIT.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:05 pm

Rodc wrote:
and a top niche school Harvey Mudd (#1 on ROI) was surprising.


Just one data point.

I have a friend from grad school that went to Harvey Mudd. We got PhDs together. Never heard of it before I met him. Very smart and very well educated, and dedicated.


My H.S. chemistry teacher went to Harvey Mudd... He was one of the best teachers I ever had...

He used to joke... "I just say it really fast so people think I went to Harvard Med"
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:09 pm

Rodc wrote:
sscritic wrote:
Rodc wrote:That probably applies to the top 0.1% of students, the ones who truly have what it takes to be an academic rock star.

I thought that was what we were discussing. Bogleheads are in the top 0.1% of everything, including their kids. :)


And unfortunately, near as I can tell the majority of parents in my town believe this about their kids. Part of what I react to in these threads is my local environment, not just the thread.

Too many kids here are way stressed out, which happens when mom and dad believe if you don't get into Harvard, Stanford, MIT etc it is a truly life changing disaster.


What I think is very ironic is that people who didn't go to the Ivy League, but can afford the Ivy League for their kids are PROOF that you don't need to go Ivy League to be successful... Yet they are dying to get their kids in there, even though they are some of the very few people who should know better from personal experience.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:10 pm

HomerJ wrote:
My H.S. chemistry teacher went to Harvey Mudd... He was one of the best teachers I ever had...

He used to joke... "I just say it really fast so people think I went to Harvard Med"


Post of the day. :sharebeer
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:14 pm

HomerJ wrote:
What I think is very ironic is that people who didn't go to the Ivy League, but can afford the Ivy League for their kids are PROOF that you don't need to go Ivy League to be successful... Yet they are dying to get their kids in there, even though they are some of the very few people who should know better from personal experience.

it would be PROOF only if the reason I wanted my kid in an Ivy is because I thought it was necessary in order to have them be successful. FWIW, my kids are likely to be successful even if they don't go to college at all. That doesn't mean that my son, for example, wouldn't love to be at Princeton.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby fareastwarriors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:24 pm

I pay for my own private college experience. But I do expect to pay for my kids when I do have them. They can go private, state/etc, doesn't matter because I hope I am financially sound by then to afford whatever they throw at me. :D
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby LuckBeALady » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:21 pm

stoptothink wrote:
LuckBeALady wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote: Their families are desperately getting them the best equipment, lessons, etc, all of which can cost more than $10,000 a year, in the hopes that the kid will get a hockey scholarship. I love youth hockey, but if a scholarship is the motivation, perhaps you should invest the money and spend the time studying.



Indeed. My son's college basketball team contains many of the state's top AAU players and McDonald's All Stars. None of them have sports scholarships.

I shudder to think of the money spent on team fees, travel, hotels, equipment- for what amounts to a hobby.


I don't think there are any "McDonald's All-Stars" on your son's team. McDonald's All-Americans are the top-24 prep basketball players in the country, there isn't a single player in the history of the game which didn't receive dozens of athletic scholarship offers.


They are the McDonald's All Stars at the state level. I apologize - I certainly didn't mean to be misleading. These kids are the top players in a low-population state that has a very weak basketball tradition (specifically, Maine). None of them are prepared to play at the D1 level, and very few could make it in D2. (perhaps a couple of graduating seniors per year, state-wide).

I think we both agree that many parents are overly optimistic regarding little Johnny's chances for receiving an athletic scholarship.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:28 pm

sscritic wrote:It's about the odds. And what about your flagship state school is not top? Is this a problem in your state? It isn't in mine. Again, just as you have to choose your neighborhood carefully to get good neighborhood schools, you have to choose your state carefully to get good state schools. If you are in a bad state, you should move to a good state where the flagship school is one of the top universities in the country.


It's about the student, not the school. If you are bright and motivated enough to be accepted to an elite college but opt to go elsewhere, you will have on average the same life outcome as far as income and status. A non-elite school has some students that don't have the chops to be accepted at elite schools - that's why the "odds" appear on the surface to favor elite institutions. Dale and Krueger have sorted this out in great detail.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... -colleges/

An elite-caliber student has the same "odds" of success in life no matter where they go (within reason). People moving so their kid can get into _the_ top high school, or get in-state rates at a list of 5 public colleges nationwide or spend a quarter-million dollars or more on one undergrad degree are simply confusing correlation with causation, and often at very great expense to them.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:47 pm

We can have different beliefs. I still believe is is easier to slide down hill or stay at the top of the hill than to slide up from the bottom. I prefer to start at the top rather than the bottom if I can. I would rather have rich parents than poor. I was pleased to go to mostly good schools. Children with rich parents tend to do better. It may only be correlation rather than causation, but I would rather my children and grandchildren not start life and school in a state of poverty. Poor people can do wonderful things to overcome their circumstances, but there is a reason they make great stories: they are unusual. I would be surprised if you honestly wanted your children to go to bad schools in the inner city when they were young, but perhaps you thought it a good experience for them.

When I was growing up, my mother brought poor children to live with us so they could go to good schools; she didn't send me to live with their families so I could go to bad schools. Maybe I would have had a better life if I had gone to bad schools, but my parents weren't willing to take the chance. I was a little more daring than my parents: I left my children in the care of LAUSD and UTLA. I guess it worked out OK. Now if only I had made them work when they were in college. :)
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:01 pm

sscritic wrote:We can have different beliefs.


It's not a belief or a compilation of "anecdata", but rather peer reviewed studies that have found that elite-caliber students have the same economic life outcomes whether they go to the elite schools they were accepted to or went to "good" but not as prestigious institutions.

If a quarter-million dollars is household chump-change, or if you are genuinely middle class and elite institutions offer a 90%-100% off sale, it doesn't matter. But for those of us in-between, it's certainly something to consider, especially when colleges just below elite status are still competing for top students with merit aid and other benefits.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:13 pm

This might fit in here somewhere.

I taught a few semesters in an equal opportunity program at State U. Was interesting, mostly football and basketball players, but some minority students that really were not ready but the college thought they showed some promise.

Anyway, I had a conversation with an official from one of the southwest Indian tribes who worked to get kids into college. He said he could get almost any kid into any collage, because they all wanted more native American kids. But he said it was a grave disservice to get a kid into a school were he could not thrive. It was better to have them go to a lesser school and get top grades than go to a better school and get poor grades, and worst of all was to get them into an elite school and have them fail.

So in the end, best to send a kid to a school that is a good match.

************

To the discussion between sscritic and MnD, I think it is pretty clear from my experience hiring MS and PhDs from a spectrum of top 50 schools that a 4.0 from MIT carries more weight than a 4.0 from state U in hiring, but that any difference is schooling fades quickly and it is all about the person. And it is not hard to get hired at a top notch quasi-university research lab with top grades from a top 50 school. There is no hiring benefit from having a 3.5 from MIT when you could have had a 3.9 at a very good state U. Unless you really can pull down that 4.0 from a top 5 school there is little to no benefit. If you can pull down a 4.0 from a top 5 school and you can get a stellar recommendation from an internationally renowned faculty member, sure, great stuff. And that is a very small number of kids indeed.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:41 pm

Rodc wrote:To the discussion between sscritic and MnD, I think it is pretty clear from my experience hiring MS and PhDs from a spectrum of top 50 schools that a 4.0 from MIT carries more weight than a 4.0 from state U in hiring, but that any difference is schooling fades quickly and it is all about the person. And it is not hard to get hired at a top notch quasi-university research lab with top grades from a top 50 school. There is no hiring benefit from having a 3.5 from MIT when you could have had a 3.9 at a very good state U. Unless you really can pull down that 4.0 from a top 5 school there is little to no benefit. If you can pull down a 4.0 from a top 5 school and you can get a stellar recommendation from an internationally renowned faculty member, sure, great stuff. And that is a very small number of kids indeed.

To believe that the school you go to doesn't matter, you have to believe that there are no snobs on any admission or hiring committee. Let me tell you, they are out there. Heck, I was one. Of course I looked at where someone came from. Somehow a vita with all the academic affiliations removed didn't really win me over. Maybe where MnD works HR redacts all that information, including the affiliations of those providing the recommendations, but that was never the case where I worked.
If you can pull down a 4.0 from a top 5 school and you can get a stellar recommendation from an internationally renowned faculty member, sure, great stuff.

This is slightly misdirected. A good recommendation from a renowned faculty member for a mediocre student is where it makes a big difference. If we would just admit how average our children are, you can see how getting a good recommendation from a renowned faculty member from a prestigious university will help them. I know it helped me. [Now watch livesoft come along and accuse me of humble bragging. He would be right of course. :) ]
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:52 pm

To believe that the school you go to doesn't matter,


I don't think I said it did not matter at all, I just think it is vastly over stated by many. One good study on this was provided above, showing data does not match anecdotes.

It is like rebalancing or something, has some value but is not the top of the list of things to get right.

Renowned faculty dilute their reputations by giving stellar recommendations to an average student? I haven't seen that.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:02 pm

I didn't use the word stellar, you did. And I write for general consumption, not just for one person at a time. I really hate you as a pronoun. People are always thinking I am talking about them, although in my first sentence, I am.

I took a class from the most brilliant man in the field at the time, but I don't recall if I got a recommendation from him or not. My guess is that very few students were willing to approach him, so I probably didn't. But it was one of the few small classes, and I did get a good grade; maybe I did. I think if he wrote "he's not too bad" on a scrap of paper, a student could have gotten into a good graduate program (not the best). That of course assumes that people pay attention to reputations. I think they do even if others think they don't.

Do you have a study that says that humans are not swayed by reputations?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby texasdiver » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:14 pm

Most of this "best schools" discussion completely misses reality for most students and most careers and is very California/east coast centric.

For certain careers, especially Wall Street and banking careers in east coast cities like NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Yes, and Ivy education is one ticket. You probably aren't going to get an interview at Goldman Sachs with a degree from Utah State. Likewise, to get into an academic track in the liberal arts you pretty much need to be in the ivy or near ivys. But those represent a miniscule slice of the American workforce.

For students who aren't from Boston or New York and are interested in pursuing life and careers in their own home states then there are plenty of home state options. Here in Texas pretty much no business doing hiring in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Austin is going to look askance at any top student from the public flagships (Texas and Texas A&M) or any of the top 6 or so private schools in Texas (Rice, SMU, Baylor, Trinity, TCU, Southwestern). In fact, students from any of those schools are likely to have a leg up on out-of-state grads just due to the incredible alumni networks those local schools have. Likewise, someone hoping to work in Seattle might as well have a degree from Washington as anyplace else. In fact, a Stanford or Berkeley degree might even be a disadvantage for those applying for jobs in the Northwest. I grew up in Oregon in the 1970s where "Don't Californicate Oregon" bumper stickers were popular. I expect most other regions of the US outside the northeast seaboard are similarly parochial.

In addition, for students pursuing lots of technical, engineering, or medical (non-physician) careers there are plenty of regional schools that are perfectly fine. For most of those careers (engineering, nursing, education, pharmacy, software, network administration, etc. etc.) The certifications and qualifications are more important than the school itself. Yes employers are looking for good students but they aren't looking for ivy types. And local is often better due to the connections and alumni networks.

Finally there are many many specialty fields for which the best schools are often far from the ivy league and not at all what one might expect. Someone interested in petroleum engineering should be looking at schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, Penn State, Tulsa, and Stanford. Definitely NOT Princeton, Brown, or Dartmouth. Someone interested in Oceanography should be looking at Washington, Texas A&M, UC-San Diego, Miami, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Rhode Island, and a few others.

If your child is in the top 0.1% then by all means, search out the most elite institutions available. But 99.9% of students are not. And a majority of people in this country really do not actually want to live in New York, Boston, Washington or LA.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:20 pm

I didn't use the word stellar, you did.


Twice in fact, and specifically.

In my experience professors have a way of providing stellar recommendations that really help, and then lessor recommendations that are not really bad, they never give bad recommendations, but just so so. So both times I mentioned recommendations I really meant the sort that really help land jobs. Like good but not great grades, good but not great recommendations don't really help if you are looking for a top tier job.

Do you have a study that says that humans are not swayed by reputations?


Close. See the citation above. Applies at least on average. I'm sure it has helped someone. Never said never, just said overstated.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:25 pm

texasdiver, well said.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby reggiesimpson » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:35 pm

texasdriver.... But 99.9% of students are not. And a majority of people in this country really do not actually want to live in New York, Boston, Washington or LA.
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And a lot of the people in those cities dont want to live there either! Me included.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:18 pm

sscritic wrote:
Rodc wrote:To the discussion between sscritic and MnD, I think it is pretty clear from my experience hiring MS and PhDs from a spectrum of top 50 schools that a 4.0 from MIT carries more weight than a 4.0 from state U in hiring, but that any difference is schooling fades quickly and it is all about the person. And it is not hard to get hired at a top notch quasi-university research lab with top grades from a top 50 school. There is no hiring benefit from having a 3.5 from MIT when you could have had a 3.9 at a very good state U. Unless you really can pull down that 4.0 from a top 5 school there is little to no benefit. If you can pull down a 4.0 from a top 5 school and you can get a stellar recommendation from an internationally renowned faculty member, sure, great stuff. And that is a very small number of kids indeed.

To believe that the school you go to doesn't matter, you have to believe that there are no snobs on any admission or hiring committee. Let me tell you, they are out there. Heck, I was one. Of course I looked at where someone came from. Somehow a vita with all the academic affiliations removed didn't really win me over. Maybe where MnD works HR redacts all that information, including the affiliations of those providing the recommendations, but that was never the case where I worked.


I'm glad I work in an industry where no one cares where you went to school, just what your actual abilities are... I'm in IT, and the only thing we care about is your experience and your skills. I've called plenty of people in for an interview after reading the first page of their resume, never even making it to the "Education" section.

Do other professions really care about what school you went to after 10+ years? Once you've got a lot of experience under your belt, does the school really matter anymore? Do people really ask 45 year olds what their GPA in college was?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:28 pm

@Homer - No, but they do ask where you graduated school from and they do verify it.
It still makes a difference in hiring, especially for the more snobby of roles. :wink: Connections matter and alumni networks from some of the more prestigious institutions can be beneficial in closing business transactions.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby jon-nyc » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:47 pm

HomerJ wrote:Do other professions really care about what school you went to after 10+ years? Once you've got a lot of experience under your belt, does the school really matter anymore? Do people really ask 45 year olds what their GPA in college was?


Of course not. The main advantage is getting into the role in the first place. Once you've been at Goldman for three years, no one cares where you went to school. But you probably aren't getting an interview at Goldman if you went to San Diego State. Google is a meritocracy from what I hear, but they recruit at Stanford, not at Kansas State. etc. etc.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Dave76 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:48 pm

texasdiver wrote:Most of this "best schools" discussion completely misses reality for most students and most careers and is very California/east coast centric.

For certain careers, especially Wall Street and banking careers in east coast cities like NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Yes, and Ivy education is one ticket. You probably aren't going to get an interview at Goldman Sachs with a degree from Utah State. Likewise, to get into an academic track in the liberal arts you pretty much need to be in the ivy or near ivys. But those represent a miniscule slice of the American workforce.

For students who aren't from Boston or New York and are interested in pursuing life and careers in their own home states then there are plenty of home state options. Here in Texas pretty much no business doing hiring in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Austin is going to look askance at any top student from the public flagships (Texas and Texas A&M) or any of the top 6 or so private schools in Texas (Rice, SMU, Baylor, Trinity, TCU, Southwestern). In fact, students from any of those schools are likely to have a leg up on out-of-state grads just due to the incredible alumni networks those local schools have. Likewise, someone hoping to work in Seattle might as well have a degree from Washington as anyplace else. In fact, a Stanford or Berkeley degree might even be a disadvantage for those applying for jobs in the Northwest. I grew up in Oregon in the 1970s where "Don't Californicate Oregon" bumper stickers were popular. I expect most other regions of the US outside the northeast seaboard are similarly parochial.

In addition, for students pursuing lots of technical, engineering, or medical (non-physician) careers there are plenty of regional schools that are perfectly fine. For most of those careers (engineering, nursing, education, pharmacy, software, network administration, etc. etc.) The certifications and qualifications are more important than the school itself. Yes employers are looking for good students but they aren't looking for ivy types. And local is often better due to the connections and alumni networks.

Finally there are many many specialty fields for which the best schools are often far from the ivy league and not at all what one might expect. Someone interested in petroleum engineering should be looking at schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, Penn State, Tulsa, and Stanford. Definitely NOT Princeton, Brown, or Dartmouth. Someone interested in Oceanography should be looking at Washington, Texas A&M, UC-San Diego, Miami, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Rhode Island, and a few others.

If your child is in the top 0.1% then by all means, search out the most elite institutions available. But 99.9% of students are not. And a majority of people in this country really do not actually want to live in New York, Boston, Washington or LA.


Status is the enemy of contentment. It's a false god. High paying jobs are stressful, usually physically (lack of sleep) and emotionally taxing. There's a reason why CEOs make so much money. They have to be compensated for their time and expertise. There are, however, easier and more pleasurable ways to make money and live a comfortable lifestyle.

On a side note: Most lawyers do not like practicing Law. The only reason they stay is to justify the immense cost of the JD degree and to maintain an upper class lifestyle. Oh, and to keep their spouse happy.
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